Late first-half flurry sends Eastern by Ballard, 12-3

Once Eastern got on a roll Tuesday evening it was hard for the Ballard Bruins to stop the Eagles.

Eastern scored the final seven goals of the first half to take an eight-goal lead into the break and cruised to a 12-3 win in the opening semifinal of the KSLL girls semifinals at Christian Academy-Louisville.

Eastern (18-4-2) advances to the final (7 p.m. Thursday back at CAL) for the second time in three years after finishing as the 2017 runner-up to Kentucky Country Day.

Eastern, the consensus No. 3 team in the state by three computer ratings (MaxPreps, LaxNumbers and Inside Lacrosse), raced out to a 2-0 lead in the opening seven minutes. Junior midfielder Bailey Stumpf found the net just 2:23 into the game and senior Maggie Foster, who has signed to stay home and play in college for Louisville, scored the first of her two free-position shots in the opening nine minutes. Foster’s second FPS goal made it 3-1 with 16:34 left in the first half and came less than a minute after sophomore midfielder Kinsey Waddell got Ballard — ranked fourth by LaxNumbers, fifth by MaxPreps and sixth by Inside Lacrosse — on the board off an assist from junior Caroline Boucher.

Eastern extended its lead to 4-1 as Foster found Stumph for the goal, prompting Ballard to call its first timeout with 10:13 left in the first half.

After misfiring on its third FPS attempt, Ballard made it 5-1 with 7:13 left in the first half as Stumph scored an FPS goal. Stumph scored again at the 6:05 mark, while Foster’s third FPS goal came at 4:16 to make it 7-1. Freshman midfielder Sarah Cole closed the first-half scoring with a pair of goals 55 seconds apart.

Ballard ended its scoring drought just 29 seconds after the break as senior Ashley Osborne, a first-team All-State midfielder last season and a Louisville signee like Foster, scored off Boucher’s second assist of the night.

Foster, a first-team All-State selection last year, made it 10-2 with 22:16 left in the game on a rare open-net goal after Ballard’s goalkeeper was called for slashing. Eastern junior Kaeli Brown broke into the scoring column at 20:44 to make it 11-2.

Osborne scored a goal while falling down at 17:32 to pull Ballard within 11-3.

After the longest scoreless stretch of the game, Foster scored yet another FPS goal in the final 52 seconds to make it 12-3.

Ballard finishes the season 15-9 after winning five straight games prior to playing Eastern for the only time this season. Ballard was looking for its berth in the final after finishing runner-up in both 2002 and 2001.